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  • Writer's pictureSamia Verbist

Gold Finish: Design Tips For Beautiful Spaces

This time of year, as the days grow shorter and the nights longer, we start craving more sparkle and shine.

In many areas of the home, light-reflecting finishes can provide a sense of illumination year-round. If you want to create a brighter, more vibrant interior, gold finishes can help you achieve it. I am partial to their ability to feel like a ray of sunshine while giving you a truly luxe look.

Orange County interior designer Samia Verbist in Huntington Beach kitchen remodel

Gold is a classic and has regained popularity over the past couple of years. It is suited to a variety of looks. Of course, it works well in a transitional or traditional space, but it also complements a glam, mid-century, or Hollywood Regency style.

That means gold is a highly versatile metal.

What we refer to as “gold” includes a variety of hues. Therefore, when choosing gold finishes, you will find differences in color and surface from product to product. That is something you will have to accept.

However, that’s not a bad thing! It means there are plenty of options to choose from – you just want them to be in the same color family.

Let’s consider some of the breadths of gold finishes available today.

Gold Décor Accents

There are many types of finishes in the gold family – think champagne, brushed brass, or polished brass, to name just a few. This makes choosing gold both exciting and challenging. When selecting chrome or brushed nickel finish products, you don’t run into this issue as much. There may be a slight difference, but it won’t be as noticeable.

In the gold family, bronze can be a challenge too. Especially when you consider oil-rubbed bronze because the amount and shade of the bronze peeking through can vary.

Thus, with gold, there is a good chance you will not be able to get an exact match when sourcing products across brands. Consider a kitchen – you might want gold cabinet hardware, gold accents on your pendant lighting, and a gold faucet. This could mean three different manufacturers.

Gold Finish Examples And Design Tips

My first tip is to keep all finishes in the same color tone. Gold can run from yellowish to pink. There are many variations between yellow and rose gold, and each brand has its own version of “gold,” possibly many versions.

For example, Kohler offers Vibrant Modern Brushed Brass faucets, while Top Knobs has a gold-hued Honey Bronze. And on some hardware, it also provides Polished Brass and Brushed Bronze.

This brings up a second aspect: gold finishes can be brushed or polished. While you won’t be able to find a perfect match when pairing products, you can stay in the same color range and surface finish.

For this coastal kitchen, I wanted to play up the gold accents in the backsplash. I used a bright gold finish on the cabinet hardware, the faucets, and the lighting. It adds a touch of high-end glam to this modest-sized space. To find the best matches, I ordered three sets of hardware to get the perfect choice.

This is my second big tip. When using gold, source as many items as you can from the same brand.

In the kitchen, that would include all faucets and sink drains. While in the bathroom, that would be shower fixtures, faucet, drain, and tub filler. This will enable you to reduce the level of difference that could appear in the space.

The Key To Mixing Metals

There is no doubt gold is glam, and an all-gold look creates a classic, high-end space, but gold can also play well with others.

In this bathroom, I sourced all shower fixtures from the same brand. The mirror is almost an exact match for the faucets, even though they are from different brands. That’s good because they are so near each other. By contrast, the cabinet hardware is brushed nickel. Instead of matching the finish of the faucets, the pulls complement the faucets thanks to their industrial style.

You’ll also note that the frame on the shower niche is chrome. See how it fades into the metro tile like it is simply a part of it?

In this navy-blue guest bathroom, I used a similar technique. Here, the door handles and shower drain is brushed nickel, the shower niche frame is chrome, and the mirror is black. Those are not intended as the standout features, which are the faucets and shower fixtures, all gleaming in a bright gold finish.

Here is tip number three. When you incorporate gold finishes, you are not required to use only gold everywhere. I'd instead opt for a different metal for some items if I couldn't find the right gold to coordinate.

As a bonus, using more subtle metals on some fixtures will allow the gold ones to pop.

The Best Palettes with Gold Finishes: Interior Design Tips

What palettes provide the best backdrop to spectacular gold finishes? There are plenty to choose from. Gold looks great against a neutral background and sparkles when paired with many colors, especially those in cooler tones.

You can see how brushed brass and gold elevate this classic black-and-white powder room.

Black and white powder room remodel in Huntington Beach

In this Huntington Beach bathroom, gold with natural beige looks fresh and elegant.

I love to pair gold with blues. The first instinct with turquoise may be to choose nickel or chrome. But the gold in the metro tile bathroom I discussed above is a perfect fit.

Large blue and white bathroom remodel in Laguna Niguel, California

In this white kitchen with gold accents, the perimeter hardware is matte black. But the faucet, pendants, and hardware on the show-stopping navy-blue island feature a subdued, soft gold. It’s not shiny; it’s just enough to make a difference and add a slight feminine touch to this kitchen.

My fourth tip for gold accents – they add flair to nearly any palette, from neutral to bold.

Final Thoughts On Gold Finish And Decor Tips

The only colors I generally do not recommend pairing with gold finishes are orange, yellow, and red, which are already warm hues. Some grays are not appropriate for gold, although a darker gray would provide a nice contrast.

Of course, rules are meant to be broken, so I never say never.

Let’s be brilliant. Let’s be bold. And, of course, let’s be beautiful.

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